In DepthNeuroscience

Cuban panel claims stress caused mystery illnesses

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Science  08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6368, pp. 1236-1237
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6368.1236

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Summary

After a 9-month probe hampered by lack of access to medical records, a panel of Cuban scientists this week declared that U.S. diplomats here likely suffered a "collective psychogenic disorder" earlier this year, not the deliberate "health attack" that the U.S. Department of State has claimed. Based on media reports about the mysterious symptoms, including hearing loss, nausea, vertigo, and memory lapses, some U.S. scientists had already reached similar conclusions. That a panel appointed by the Cuban government dismisses the U.S. claims may not be surprising, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still leading what State Department officials have described as a "vigorous" multiagency investigation. But the Cuban report summary, obtained by Science, reveals intriguing details. For instance, a high-frequency noise that some had identified as a possible "sonic weapon" may have been crickets chirping.